Dr. Kim’s Blog

Dr. Kim Okamura Welcome to my blog! This blog is a product of my love of dentistry. I dedicate it to all the patients I have served so that they may better understand my craft. The information here will give you and others the power to maintain and protect one of your most priceless gifts ... your SMILE. Happy reading!
Sleep apnea is a chronic condition that causes people to stop breathing at different times throughout their sleep cycles. Sleep apnea can increase the risk of developing heart disease, dementia, and a host of other diseases. Like many chronic conditions, the early stages of sleep apnea may not cause noticeable symptoms, and the condition can often progress to causing significant damage before you may even be aware you have the disorder. The second thing you may not be aware of if you suffer from sleep apnea? That your dentist can help! Understanding Sleep Apnea There are two main types of sleep apnea: Obstructive sleep apnea and Central sleep apnea. Both types of sleep apnea are disruptive to sleep patterns, and people with untreated sleep apnea typically wake up feeling tired and lethargic. If left untreated, it can have a significant impact on your short-term and long-term health in both physical and mental capacities. Obstructive ...
Are you struggling with snoring and sleepless nights? You could be one of 18 million Americans with sleep apnea, and the chances are that your dentist can diagnose your sleep disorder before your doctor can. Your oral health could be to blame for snoring and sleep disturbances. Find out what the first signs of sleep apnea are and how Dr. Okamura can be the earliest diagnostician of your sleep disorder. The Signs of Sleep Apnea Your Dentist Can Spot Because many people visit their dentist more frequently than their family doctor, your dentist can play a vital role in watching for dental symptoms commonly associated with sleep apnea. Jaw pain is a typical indication of sleep apnea, and it is often caused by a combination of these top dental signs of the disorder. Teeth Grinding The first sign of sleep apnea is often teeth grinding. Sleep apnea and bruxism, or teeth grinding, have been related ...
From an aesthetic standpoint, it’s easy to see why teens prefer alternatives to traditional braces, such as Invisalign. Although traditional braces are one of the most effective ways to move teeth in a relatively short period of time, many older teens are often reluctant with the idea of spending their years in High School with brackets and wires. Fortunately for today's teens, there are great alternatives to achieving straighter teeth without orthodontic treatment being the first thing someone sees when you smile. How Does Invisalign Work? Invisalign resembles the plastic retainers that most teenagers get when they are done with their metal braces treatment and the teeth still need to be set in place. The clear retainers, referred to as aligners, move teeth in a similar way to traditional braces by putting pressure on the teeth. This allows for the aligners to gradually shift the teeth into a more appealing alignment. Every two ...
Taking better care of your body by fueling it with healthy foods is a great step in becoming the best version of yourself. But if you’re embarking on a new diet, you probably have your waistline on your mind, not your teeth. Many popular weight-loss diets can have a major impact on your oral health and trends like detox teas, and the ever-so-popular juicing cleanse can really do more harm than good in the long run. How does your diet plan affect your mouth? Diet Fads Worth Skipping Juice Cleansing These “healthy” juices are chock full of sugar that has a negative effect on your oral health. Even with good home care and regular dental cleanings and exams, the sugar from these juices is consumed by the harmful bacteria in your mouth, and it’s immediately converted to acid which wears away your tooth enamel. The bacteria can also irritate the gums and lead to ...
Both Invisalign and braces can help you achieve the dream smile you’ve always wished you had. But which option is the right one for you? This is a very common question that patients often ask when they come in for their first consultation appointment. Knowing the differences between the two and what your treatment plans for each would look like will help you make the best decision for how to straighten your smile. First Step: Talk to an Invisalign Provider Most providers offer free consultations, which serve as a great opportunity to learn more about your treatment options without the need to make any commitment.  A dental professional will be able to tell you more about whether Invisalign might be the right fit for you and your lifestyle, or whether traditional braces is the better option. Dr. Okamura will make sure that you leave your consultation appointment knowing exactly which treatment option ...
Every adult remembers the thrill and excitement of wiggling a loose tooth with your tongue or finger as a small child. But excitement is the last thing you will feel as an adult if you notice that one (or several) of your permanent teeth are loose. Some causes of loose teeth in adults are harmless, while others require the care of a dental professional to save the tooth before it’s too late. Causes of Loose Permanent Teeth Noticing a loose tooth as an adult can be a terrifying experience. When the problem is detected early, more often than not, the tooth can be saved with the help of your dentist. Knowing the causes of loose permanent teeth, and the signs and symptoms of the top contributors can help you in keeping your teeth intact and avoiding expensive tooth replacement options. Gum Disease Also known as periodontitis, gum disease involves inflammation and infection of the gums. ...
We expect for children’s teeth to be constantly shifting as a result of losing baby teeth and adult teeth taking their place. But children aren’t the only ones susceptible to moving teeth and shifts in your smile can happen at any age - even as an adult. If you’re noticing changes in your smile as an adult, this can leave you feeling uncomfortable, and unsure of what this shift in your smile means. Keep reading to learn the most common reasons your teeth might be moving as an adult and what you can do to minimize the damage. Why Your Teeth Are Shifting There are a variety of reasons why your teeth might begin shifting and changing positions as an adult. If you can identify early on what the cause of your shifting teeth is, you may be able to prevent the shifting from continuing. The top causes of shifting teeth are: AGE When our ...
If you’ve been considering the idea of getting dental veneers, one of the top questions you probably keep circling back around to is “Are veneers going to damage my natural teeth?”. Porcelain veneers are one of the most popular cosmetic dental treatments for today’s patients, and it’s easy to see why. Regaining self confidence from the appearance of your smile is a life changing opportunity, and our patients have never felt more confident than they do after a smile makeover. Take a look for yourself and see why so many patients are choosing to improve their smile with veneers. How Veneers Impact Your Teeth Veneers will not damage your natural teeth if your dental treatment plan is carried out by an experienced cosmetic dentist with relevant experience, and advanced training in the placement of veneers specifically. The most important thing to know about the safety of veneers is to always receive veneers from an ...
If you’ve always been self conscious of your smile, not because your teeth are crooked, but perhaps because your teeth are small, differently shaped, or even stained, this might be bringing one big question to your mind - could I fix the look of my smile with porcelain veneers? Take our smile makeover quiz below to help you get an idea of whether veneers would be a good fit for you in correcting your smile, or whether you should be looking at other avenues to fix your smile setbacks. What Is Your Biggest Dental Concern? I’m missing teeth caused by tooth decay or periodontal disease. I have chips or cracks visible in my smile. My teeth have gaps (large or small) or crowding. How Important Is Preserving Your Natural Tooth Enamel? Mandatory with no exceptions. Very important - I want to keep my natural teeth as natural as possible. I don’t mind losing ...
Your teeth aren’t the only thing in your house that can benefit from the cleaning powers of toothpaste. Toothpaste has a host of uses all around, and here are 16 handy applications that have nothing to do with your pearly whites. Clever Cleaning Hacks For Around The House Take your cleaning game to the next level by using toothpaste to: Remove scuffs from shoes - A little toothpaste does an amazing job of removing scuffs from your leather shoes making them look like new again. Take a pea-sized amount of toothpaste, dab it on the scuffed area, and rub it in with a soft cloth, wiping clean with a damp cloth afterwards. Piano keys - The whitening powers of toothpaste will clean your dingy piano keys right up. Apply a little toothpaste and a toothbrush, and wipe clean with a damp cloth afterwards for bright, white keys. Dirty sneakers - Is the ...